When students return to college campuses nationwide, many arrive with memories of summer travel as well as some essential secondhand furniture including mattresses, futons, dressers, and more. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), this combination poses serious concerns, as there has been a 71% increase in reports of bed bugs since 2001. While termed bed bugs, these nocturnal pests, when introduced to new environments, can spread quickly to infest sofas, chairs, picture frames, and other staples of college dorm decor.
“Bed bugs are opportunistic and elusive pests,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “As students return from summers filled with travel which is often viewed as a central reason for this pests’ resurgence and arrive with dorm furniture that can have an unknown history, university facility managers must proactively encourage student vigilance against bed bugs and work closely with licensed pest professionals to keep these pests at bay.”
NPMA offers these important tips to help prevent bed bugs from taking up residence in college dorms:
- Fully inspect your suitcases prior to re-packing for a return to school, especially if you have traveled during the summer. Be sure that any clothes that may have been previously packed in the suitcase have been washed in hot water.
- Before putting your sheets on your dormitory bed, inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots. Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas and chairs. If you see anything suspect, immediately contact a university facility manager.
- If you are considering bringing “secondhand” furniture to campus, properly inspect it to insure that a pest problem, such as bed bugs, is not the reason for its “secondhand” status. If you see anything suspect, do not bring it to campus.
If you are experiencing problems with bed bugs, contact Pest Ops to avoid spreading them and to eradicate the infestation. To schedule an appointment, click here or call (865) 966-0750.